“Rhealyz Africa: developing communication skills for advocacy”

In a move to support advocacy efforts led by young women, Rhealyz Africa has begun training secondary school girls in communication and media skills.

How effective communication skills can help create social change.

Rhealyz Africa, a non-profit organization with a great focus on building media advocates, recently held a communication training event for secondary school girls. The training event was held on Tuesday, 13th September 2022 in Akure, and was aimed at developing the communication skills of the girls. The need stemmed from the gap identified during the I Speak I advocate Speech Competition Auditioning where it was noticed that a larger percentage of the girls that participated showed poor presentation and public speaking skills through the potentials that were there but not exhibited. The event was designed to help the girls learn how to communicate effectively and confidently as girls’ advocates in creating safe spaces for the voiceless, especially in the area of ending Gender-based Violence.

In attendance was Moninkanla Ogidan a broadcast journalist at Adaba 88.9FM and Omolola Akinbo Head of Programs at CREST 106.1FM both in Akure, Ondo State. Moninkanola Ogidan spoke on communicating well on the radio and developing oneself as a public speaker. She spoke on the importance of keeping the audience engaged during their presentations, the importance of scripting to avoid missing words, and the need to be as real as possible.

It was followed by a practical session where two of the girls were asked to develop scripts to host a show and present it to the other girls. This was a way of getting feedback from the girls based on what has been taught.

The second speaker Omolola Akinbo started with a breathing exercise to ease tiredness and make the training more engaging. And also encouraged the girls to engage in the exercise daily for at least five (5) to aid their communication skills. During her presentation, she spoke extensively on three (3) major headlines; Topic & Time, Research, and speaking. 

She ended her presentation with the story whose major highlight was that negative words should be a drive for the girls to keep working on themselves and becoming better. Their mindset and watchword at all times should always be that ‘I can do it. It was rounded up with a question and answer session where answers were provided for each question.

Dr. Ireti Adesida, the team leader and Director General of Rhealyz Africa gave a talk on street engagement and presenting during street interviews.

Based on the training, the girls were divided into groups to talk about a topic with each member of the team acting in different capacities as show hosts, guests, and street reporters. They did well, and reviews and feedback were made based on their presentation on areas of improvement and things that can be done better.

The girls were evaluated using the head-heart-feet evaluation method. The head is about what the girls learned during the training, the heart is about how they felt during the training and the feet are about what they are going to do after the training.

In conclusion, the communication training event by Rhealyz Africa for secondary school girls was a resounding success. The girls learned essential communication skills that will help them in their future endeavors. They also had a lot of fun and bonded with each other. We hope that these girls will continue to use and build upon the skills they learned at this event. Based on the training, some of the girls were selected to participate in the International Day of the Girl Child virtual and radio events. They will also form a team that will be producing a periodic podcast focusing on issues related to girls’ development and safety.

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